Peer education is founded on the premise of peer influence. In the workplace this means that peers educate their colleagues so as to bring about attitudinal and behaviour change. Peer education uses participatory- and communication-based learning methods. It is a cost effective and realistic way of bringing about real change.
At Lonmin, our employees volunteer to become peer educators and assist in implementing the HIV/Aids workplace programme. Their role extends to referring their peers to hospitals and clinics, where they can be tested and receive appropriate levels of assistance and counselling.
In 2013, 44 of our employees from various departments were trained by the South African Business Coalition of HIV/Aids (SABCOHA) to become peer educators. Peer educators who have already been trained and are active, received additional training from SABCOHA to increase their skills. This will enable them to have a greater impact both within the workplace and the wider community. Facilitated by unit leaders, all Lonmin peer educators have been attending coaching sessions. The knowledge that these individuals acquire extends beyond the workplace and to their families and community, creating a wider network of benefits.
Currently, there are 408 peer educators at Lonmin, above our target of 325. This works out to a ratio of one workplace peer educator for every 70 employees, against our target of 1:75. This is a great achievement and the direct result of the hard work, dedication and commitment of the Wellness Team.
We estimate that our peer educators have seen 74,224* people during 2013.
* Some employees attended more than one session.